Kolkata: Afcons Transtonnelstroy and Kolkata Metro Railway Corporation Ltd have completed the task just before time, originally scheduled to July of this month. East West Metro just completed linking Howrah & Kolkata under Hooghly River.

Tunnel named ‘Rachna’ which is giant enough was deployed under the Hooghly River which in length covered 502 metres.

Afcons Transtonnelstroy is an Indo-Russian joint venture. Its machine was imported from Herrenknecht AG plant in Schwanau in Germany.

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Photo Credit: HT Photo

Basically, this project connects Howrah to the West and Salt Lake to the east which covers 16.6 km. 10.8 km runs underground while 502 metres will be covered under water.

Managing the project was not that easy and the most difficult thing was digging of the tunnel without disturbing city life. Though, a job was completed in just 36 days, ahead of 86 days scheduled time. The project is built by Afcons Transtonnelstroy and implemented by KMRCL.

A senior official of KMRCL, who did not wish to be named, said that the work digging the tunnel started on April 14, 2016. “The entire credit for completion of the work much before scheduled deadline goes to the 250 odd engineers, technicians and workers, who have worked day and night to complete the task. On an average we have dug 35 to 40 metres every day, following which the digging of the entire tunnel length of 520 metres was completed in little more than a month,” the KMRCL officer said.

The 16.6 km long route will cover 12 stations, six of which is underground and rest is on elevated tracks. The final project is expected to be launched in December 2019.

“Considering the pace at which we completed the most difficult task of creating the underwater tunnel, we hope to meet the deadline of final commissioning,” the KMRCL official said.

The main hurdles for this project were land allocation, slum relocation and route alignment which affected many lives. But, at the end, it made everything normal again.

The total project cost is $750 million, which roughly comes to around Rs 5,000 crores.